Jarad Anthony Higgins (December 2, 1998 – December 8, 2019), known professionally as Juice Wrld (/ˈdʒus ˈwɜːrld/; stylized as Juice WRLD), was an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. Born in Chicago, Illinois, he was known for his singles "All Girls Are the Same" and "Lucid Dreams" which helped him gain a recording contract with Lil Bibby's Grade A Productions and Interscope Records.
Jarad Higgins was born on December 2, 1998, in Chicago, Illinois. He moved to Homewood, Illinois in 1999 and attended Homewood-Flossmoor High School. His parents divorced when he was three years old and his father left, leaving his mother to raise him as a single mother alongside one older brother. Higgins' mother was very religious and conservative, and did not let him listen to hip hop. He was, however, allowed to listen to rock and pop music he found on video games such as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Guitar Hero, which introduced him to artists such as Billy Idol, Blink-182, Black Sabbath, Fall Out Boy, Megadeth, and Panic! at the Disco.
Higgins was a heavy drug user during his childhood and teens. He began drinking lean in sixth grade and using percocets and xanax in 2013. Higgins also smoked cigarettes, quitting in his last year of high school due to health issues.
Higgins began to develop himself as an artist in his first year of high school. His first track, "Forever", was released on SoundCloud in 2015 under the name JuicetheKidd. Higgins recorded a majority of his first tracks on a cellphone, uploading them to SoundCloud in his sophomore year. His name changed from JuicetheKidd, a name inspired by his affection for rapper Tupac Shakur and his part in the film Juice, to Juice Wrld because it "represents taking over the world."
His first track produced by his main producer Nick Mira, "Too Much Cash", was released in 2017. While releasing projects and songs on SoundCloud, Higgins worked in a factory, but was fired within two weeks after finding himself dissatisfied with the job. After joining the internet collective Internet Money, Higgins released his debut full-length EP, 9 9 9, on June 15, 2017, with the song "Lucid Dreams" breaking out and growing his following.
The coincidence between Higgins' young death and the lyrics of his song "Legends" – which was dedicated to XXXTentacion, who was murdered in 2018, and Lil Peep, who overdosed in 2017 – was raised by many. In it, he raps "What's the 27 Club? / We ain't making it past 21"; he died days after his 21st birthday.
In December 2017, Higgins released the three-song EP Nothings Different. It was featured on numerous hip-hop blogs, such as Lyrical Lemonade, which helped Higgins's track "All Girls Are the Same" gain popularity. In February 2018, a music video directed by Cole Bennett was released. Following the video's release, Higgins was signed to Interscope Records for $3,000,000 and a remix featuring Lil Yachty was previewed. "All Girls Are the Same" was critically praised, receiving a "Best New Music" designation from Pitchfork. This song and "Lucid Dreams" were Higgins's first entries on a Billboard chart, debuting at number 92 and 74 on the Billboard Hot 100 respectively.
Higgins stated his musical influences as being genre-wide going from rock music to rap music. Higgins stated that his biggest influences were rappers Travis Scott, Chief Keef, Kanye West and British rock singer Billy Idol. Juice Wlrd was among the ranks of openly vulnerable artists born from the emo rap scene inspired by West's influential fourth album, 808s & Heartbreak (2008). Billboard writer Michael Saponara claimed, "If West and his sparse 808s were a tree, it would have grown another branch with the blossoming art displayed by fellow Chicago native Juice WRLD in 2018." During an interview with All Def Music, Juice Wrld imparted, "I was singing 'Street Lights' like I had shit to be sad about. Kanye is a time traveler. That n---a went to damn near 2015 and came back with some sauce." His other influences included Wu-Tang Clan, Fall Out Boy, Black Sabbath, Megadeth, 2Pac, Eminem, Kid Cudi and Escape the Fate.
Higgins' music has been branded as "emo" and "rock" leaning, "genre-bending" with music focusing on "every broken heart, every wounded feeling." With a penchant for short, hook-heavy songs, Juice Wrld seemed a leading figure for the current era of hip-hop. In 2018, the streaming platform Spotify named "emo rap" its fastest growing genre. Juice Wrld achieved arguably the most mainstream success of any artist in the sub-genre. This was boosted by his collaboration with Panic! At the Disco frontman Brendon Urie. Juice Wrld himself considered the emo label to be both negative and positive. He felt that music sometimes has to be a bit dark to reflect his belief that the world is not really a light or a happy place.
In May 2018, "Lucid Dreams" was officially released as a single and given a video. It then went on to peak at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and quickly became one of the biggest streaming songs of 2018. Higgins released his first studio album, Goodbye & Good Riddance, on May 23, 2018. On June 19, 2018, he released a two-song EP, Too Soon.., in remembrance of and dedicated to deceased rappers Lil Peep and XXXTentacion, the latter of whom was killed in a homicide case relating to robbery a day earlier. The song "Legends" from the EP charted under its debut at number 65.
Higgins's first single as Juice Wrld featuring a collaboration was released on July 10, 2018, titled "Wasted" featuring Lil Uzi Vert. The song was added to Goodbye & Good Riddance and debuted at number 67 on the Billboard Hot 100. The next day, Higgins announced he was working on his next album. Following a series of leaks, Higgins' producer Danny Wolf released "Motions" on SoundCloud, giving the song an official release. On July 20, 2018, Higgins announced his first tour, "WRLD Domination" with additional acts YBN Cordae and Lil Mosey.
Higgins was featured on Travis Scott's Astroworld featuring on the song "No Bystanders" which peaked at number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100. He also made his late night television debut performing the song "Lucid Dreams" on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on August 8, 2018. On October 15, 2018, the music video for the song "Armed and Dangerous" was released and the lead single for the collaboration album Wrld on Drugs with Future was also released, called "Fine China". Wrld on Drugs, Higgins' second mixtape and a collaborative project with Future was released on October 19, 2018, via Epic Records. He also contributed to the soundtrack for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
In December 2018, Ski Mask the Slump God confirmed that he and Juice Wrld would release a joint mixtape called Evil Twins in 2019. The pair also announced a 2019 tour featuring 30 concerts across North America. Juice Wrld's second studio album, Death Race for Love, was released on March 8, 2019. The album topped the Billboard 200 chart. He then embarked on The Nicki Wrld Tour, alongside Nicki Minaj. On April 9, 2019, the music video for the song "Fast" was released. Later that year, he released other singles: "All Night", with RM and Suga of BTS; "Hate Me", with Ellie Goulding; "Run"; "Graduation", with Benny Blanco; and "Bandit" with NBA YoungBoy.
"All Girls Are the Same" and "Lucid Dreams" acted as singles for Juice Wrld's debut studio album Goodbye & Good Riddance (2018) which became certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album enjoyed positive critical reception, and contained three other singles: "Armed and Dangerous", "Lean wit Me" and "Wasted", all of which charted on the Billboard Hot 100. After collaborating with Future on the mixtape Wrld on Drugs (2018), Juice Wrld released his second album Death Race for Love in 2019, which went to number one on the Billboard 200.
On December 8, 2019, Higgins collapsed and died from a suspected drug-induced seizure at Midway International Airport in Chicago, after landing at Midway on a private jet from Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles. His death provoked an outpouring of grief across social media and the music industry. Higgins' funeral was held in Harvey on December 13. Higgins's first posthumous appearance was on Eminem's surprise album, Music to Be Murdered By, on the track, "Godzilla", released on January 17, 2020.
On December 8, 2019, Higgins was aboard a private Gulfstream jet flying from Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles to Midway International Airport in Chicago, where law enforcement officers were waiting for the jet to arrive, as they had been notified by federal agents while the flight was en route that the jet was suspected to be carrying guns and drugs. Law enforcement later revealed they found three handguns and 70 lb (32 kg) of marijuana on the aircraft. They also stated several members of Higgins' management team aboard the flight attested that Higgins had taken "several unknown pills", including allegedly swallowing multiple Percocet pills in an attempt to hide them while police were on board the plane searching the luggage.
Higgins' funeral was held on December 13, 2019, at the Holy Temple Cathedral Church of God in Christ in Harvey, Illinois. Friends and family were in attendance, including collaborators Ski Mask the Slump God and Young Thug.
On January 22, 2020, the Cook County Medical Examiner stated that Higgins died as a result of toxic levels of oxycodone and codeine present in his system.
Higgins had a history of drug abuse and spoke openly about his experiences. He was living in Los Angeles with his girlfriend, Ally, at the time of his death. The two started dating in early 2019.